Video How a CO2 Storage Site Is Constructed
From subsurface imaging to wellbore construction to logging, formation isolation, and delivery.
Schlumberger has over 80 years of experience in mapping, measuring, and modeling underground rock formations. We applied that know-how to become an early leader in the important new technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS), with involvement in more than 60 CO2 storage projects around the globe.
Participation in a wide range of projects in different geological contexts has provided us with detailed understanding of the varied challenges posed by CO2 storage. This enables us to integrate the diverse geoscience and engineering disciplines needed to deliver a CO2 storage project anywhere in the world.
Today, we are a partner in the industry’s major CCS projects. Tomorrow, we will participate as CCS is implemented in new settings such as power stations, oil refineries, steel works, cement plants, and other large emitters. To promote research, understanding and leadership in CCS, we also take an active role in international initiatives, including the CSLF, IEA-GHG, ZEP, GCCSI, and many local consortia.
The best way to manage the uncertainties and minimize the risks associated with CO2 storage is to choose the best storage site.
We developed a range of methods for screening geological basins and comparing different sites. Within your area of interest, we collect the available data, rank the sites based on risk assessment, and select candidates for further characterization.
The key criteria:
Other factors include public opinion, regulatory requirements, and financial and environmental impacts.
Making best use of the available data, we work with you to reach an informed decision of where to invest in the next stage—site appraisal.
Site appraisal describes the comprehensive measurements and modeling needed to confirm the suitability of a site. This phase is essential to understand the geology and behavior of the site in great detail.
We apply the selected Schlumberger risk-based approach to characterize the site in detail, integrating measurements, models, expertise, and technologies to evaluate storage performance. The process follows exploration methods deployed for decades in the oil and gas industry and adds new techniques tailored to the special needs of CO2 storage. Schlumberger designs appropriate evaluation programs:
The findings from these and other investigations are integrated to produce models of storage performance, together with plans for monitoring and risk mitigation.
These models examine geochemical and geomechanical processes to simulate and test a range of scenarios covering injection rates, fluid displacement, CO2 trapping and containment performance.
Together, we select the best development and technology options, including the well location, construction techniques, and monitoring methods.
Meeting performance objectives while minimizing risk and uncertainty is central to our process for developing a specific plan for safe and effective storage.
Injection wells are systems-engineered with the durability to both deliver the CO2 to the storage target and to isolate and protect the intervening formations.
Our drilling and well construction services help maximize the quality and stability of wells crucial to long-term integrity.
Before injection starts, we design and construct monitoring wells equipped with sensors. Baseline monitoring readings are then taken from the wells and surface systems. The injection phase typically lasts from 10 to 50 years and, throughout that time, we monitor the storage system to compare actual storage performance against predictions.
Models of storage performance, carried forward from the design phase, are updated regularly with monitoring data. If a significant deviation from plan is detected, risk mitigation and remediation actions are implemented. Schlumberger geoscientists integrate all these subsurface activities to ensure a secure storage site.
Ongoing monitoring is crucial to manage risk and performance in CCS projects. The models are updated to reflect the real-time performance of the storage site using data from monitoring systems.
Each project requires its own site-specific monitoring strategy, and Schlumberger has built experience in selecting the appropriate techniques from a range of options that vary greatly in resolution and precision. Our objective is to achieve optimal performance control, risk management, and compliance with regulations using the most cost-effective combination of sensors and monitoring protocols.
With specialized monitoring tools including high-quality 4D seismic surveys and permanent subsurface temperature and pressure sensors, we can deliver the measurements demanded by a comprehensive monitoring program.
Three main types of monitoring are carried out:
CO2 storage is still an emerging technology: regulation and best practice will evolve in the next decade. Whatever the detailed requirements, at each site, the wells will need to be safely plugged for long-term integrity, the surface equipment removed, and appropriate monitoring continued.
High confidence in long-term integrity will only be achieved by having a site that has been well chosen, well designed, well operated, and well monitored.
That’s what we do.